You made a promise to yourself to finish your website copy today, so you’re finally sitting down at your keyboard. You even turned your phone off and blocked Facebook, because dangit, you really mean it this time.
Now, one of two things will happen:
You end up staring at a blinking cursor for over an hour (since you just had to block Facebook, ugh).
You push past that blinking cursor and get your copy done, but the end result? Your copy is unclear and all over the place. Not quite the dazzling, persuasive words you imagined, but you decide to live with the ‘it’ll do for now’ syndrome.
Copywriting is a daunting task, especially when your real talent is design, hand lettering, photography, or anything-but-writing. I can tell you that with a bit of preparation though, copywriting can be an easier, doable task. Even for those of you who hated high school English class.
Having a few essentials figured out before you try to write your website copy will make the copywriting process easier for you. Take a look at these essentials before writing your own website copy.
What are you trying to accomplish with each piece of copy you write? What’s your overall goal?
If you’re writing the copy for your homepage, you probably want to hook your audience immediately and have them stay on your website.
If you’re writing the copy for your about page, you likely want to connect with your audience and make them think “Hey, I like this person! I want to know more about what they do!”
If you’re writing the copy for your services page, then you definitely want to persuade them to buy your product or service.
No matter what your goal is, be crystal clear on it before you begin writing. Have it written down, even in simple point form, so you can refer back to it. Writing your copy will be easier with an overall goal in mind, and it will keep your writing focused with a purpose to follow.
Who is your target audience?
In order to write copy that connects with your audience, you absolutely must know who your audience is. You need to write much differently for female solopreneurs in their early twenties than male small business owners in their forties.
Make sure you’ve thought (a lot!) about your dream client - how old they are, what they do, what their average day looks like, what they worry about in business, what would make their lives easier, and more. Basically, you should know your target audience better than you know your family. (Sorry mom and dad!)
Voice and Tone
What kind of voice and tone do you want your writing to have? What should your copy sound like?
You may want to come across as very professional, keeping things short and proper. You may want to express a lot of excitement and enthusiasm, showing that working with you is going to be a fun time. Or you may even want to come across as shocking, throwing some swear words into the mix. (Not my style, but I’ve seen it work for some!)
Remember though, your voice and tone should still sound like you. If you were to call your client or meet them for a coffee for the first time, they should be able to tell that your copy represents you because you speak pretty much the same way in real life.
What do you want your audience to do next?
You’ve probably heard the term 'call to action' before, as it’s essential in any bit of website copy. A call to action is when we tell our audience what they should do next, like sign up for your newsletter, share your blog post, or click the Buy Now button.
In order to write a compelling call to action, you have to decide what you want their next action to be. Knowing your desired action means knowing where your copy is heading in the end.
Tip: Try narrowing it down to just one action. Any more than that, and you risk confusing and losing your audience altogether.
Spending 30 minutes defining your overall goal, target audience, voice and tone, and desired action for each bit of copy you’re going to write will save you hours of fighting with the blank computer screen. Determining these essentials will keep your stress levels in check and allow you to write awesome copy to wow your audience.
PS: Still feel like throwing your computer out the window when you try writing your own copy? Save your computer and check out my copywriting services instead. I’ll eliminate your worries and write website copy that you and your audience will love.